Staff and students at Pakuranga College are looking forward to the completion of an additional school building, due to take place in 2021.
The two-storey block will house 12 new classrooms and is currently under construction adjacent to Pakuranga Road.
Although it will provide space for classes in English, technology, and optimal learning, there is one group of students watching the building’s progress with particular interest. The college’s Pegasus Unit will have its new home on the ground floor and the new facility has been specifically designed for the learning needs of these students.
As Michael Hunter, head of the Pegasus Unit points out: “This will be an all new environment – clean, tidy, comfortable, warm, friendly, calming – creating a positive vibe that will enhance student wellbeing and learning.
“Our students will have a sense of pride in their space and this will boost their confidence, learning and social skills.”
The new learning area will incorporate a large kitchen and laundry to enable students to practice life skills such as using the dishwasher and washing machine or cooking.
There will also be a large social area with café-style seating, so that they can eat lunch and socialise together. In addition, the design incorporates break-out rooms for different learning groups and calming spaces for those who need time to themselves.
“The space is oriented in an open manner to the rest of the school so that our group feels part of the school community,” says Hunter.
“The student body has a great relationship with the Pegasus students and the new space will encourage mainstream students to spend even more time with us during break times.”
The building was partly funded by the Ministry of Education. However, as the school’s principal Michael Williams points out, “The project could not have gone ahead without an additional sum of almost $1 million.
“The willingness of the Board of Trustees to make this money available is a real testament to its commitment to the community.”